There isn’t a lack of knowing

Kendra Bozarth
2 min readJan 27, 2023

We look ahead to Black History Month as we leave behind Black lives that didn’t matter to police. The system isn’t just murdering precious life — it’s killing the spirit and bodies of everyone left behind to hold the grief of who we’ve lost. As agents of white supremacy, the police — no matter their race — enact unimaginable violence and offer nothing but an unfillable absence in their wake.

Their theft never ends. “there is a hole in the universe where Keenan Anderson should be,” tweeted @justjalesha. “there are Black people grieving. again.”

And now we await footage of the murder of Tyre Nichols — as the hole in our community’s heart deepens. Again. I’ve been terrified to even know what’s captured in the footage (I won’t watch), but I’m more scared for what comes next.

First, in body. My body already lives in fight or flight because 1) we all live in trauma and 2) I live with chronic illness too. Every blow of police brutality knocks us further away from our health — and our peace.

Next, in spirit. The societal gaslighting and scapegoating have already begun. Politicians are making their bankrupt promises and everyone else is making excuses — for why they’re not brave enough to pursue abolition or why they can’t admit that a society based on punishment instead of care is working for their privilege and position.

What I really came here to say is that it shouldn’t have to take “beyond Emmett Till” footage to create change — and it never will.

“I remember the Rodney King assault. I remember how many of us thought the footage would change everything. Finally there was ‘proof,” said W. Kamau Bell. “Now there’s footage every day of police brutalizing us. This footage is in HD & often comes from the police. Nothing changes.”

America is a constant demonstration of horrific violence against Black life. Witnessing our oppression, putting this depravity on full display, has never been a good enough wake-up call for most.

The research is done. The solution is clear. What more do you want?